Perform better, feel younger, be happier, improve faster and unlock your superpowers with the Flow State.
Imagine you’re learning to fly a plane. You’ve decided where you’re flying to, set up your flight plan and are in the air.
Everything is going smoothly. You’re cruising around and totally lost in dreams of where you’re going to fly to next. In the back of your mind there is however the nagging worry at the cost of the flying lessons you’re taking and the hole they’re leaving in your wallet.
You decide it’s time to kick back and enjoy the view, so you flip the autopilot on.
In contrast to you the autopilot has zero decision making ability at the creative level. It cannot decide where the plane’s going or why, how many passengers are onboard, what time it leaves, it cannot log a flight plan or ensure that all the visual pre flight checks have been done etc…
It’s the pilots job to ensure all this is done…
The autopilot makes decisions based on it pre programmed sub routines. It has no ability to think creatively, to worry about finances or have an existential crisis…it’s pure action. This action is expressed through the plane.
Thus its performance and the handling characteristics of the plane are irrevocably linked.
That is to say, it cannot turn, climb or dive quicker than the airframe can handle. It can only go as fast as the engines will allow.
I know this is pretty obvious, but hold it in the back of your mind, it’ll be important later.
Now I love kitesurfing, so let’s put this into kitesurfing terms.
When you want to go kitesurfing, it’s your pilot who gets you there. It gets you to the beach, decides what kite to take, whether the conditions are ok and gets you off the beach and onto the water.
Very often in an average session it will be in control most of the time.
Let’s say weather conditions suddenly change and a massive storm blows up 20 ft waves. An event WAY beyond the pilots ability or experience to handle. This normally results in panic and a whole host of problems, but…
At this point something incredible can happen…
The autopilot can kick in automatically.
How well it handles the situation will depend on several factors.
- How well installed its pre programmed sub routines are.
- How may subroutines it has and how flexible its subroutines are.
- How well the actual hardware can cope with the demands of the current situation. (Your stress response, mindset and mental resilience)
- The inbuilt performance limitations of the hardware it is driving. (How fit and strong you are, how fast your reflexes are, your ability to resist injury)
If the challenge/skill ratio is perfect and the hardware is capable of doing what is asked of it, you will experience a flow state experience. As control is handed over to your autopilot and it deals effortlessly and brilliantly with the situation.
If the challenge/skill ratio is too great or the hardware isn’t up to the task…
You’ll likely drown!!
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Going back to our story…
If in the middle of this storm, the pilot were to try to wrestle back control from the autopilot. It’d once again find itself in a situation which is way beyond its skill level to control. With a similar watery end to that seen if the autopilot isn’t up to the task.
Pilot interference throws the autopilot right off.
Note how, at no point in any of the process, did the autopilot have a decision to make.
It’s called in to action by subroutines we still don’t fully understand. But once it’s called upon it’s pure action. Action only concerned with this exact moment.
It doesn’t care about the future or the past. About what you’re having for tea or if your generally happy with your existence…it doesn’t give a shit.
It is ONLY concerned with right now, with this instant.
And thank God it is, if it isn’t, you’re dead…
Being able to hardwire skills into the autopilot faster, having more subroutines and then upgrading our hardware so it can then execute these subroutines better…
Is the secret to peak performance.
The more times you can have these autopilot experiences the faster you progress, the more you enjoy the activity you’re doing (as it’s a highly addictive experience) and, believe it or not, the less likely you are to suffer from mental illness. The greater your general level of health will be and you’ll also be generally happier and more satisfied with life.
Isn’t it time you upgraded your autopilot?